NEW RV? here's what you need to know about backup visibility.

by Jake Nemecek on Mar 1, 2016 11:00:00 AM

Backing up a car or truck hooked to a trailer is probably one of the more challenging issues a driver has to face, especially given the fact people don't get much practice in maneuvering while towing on a regular basis (like a commercial driver does, for instance.)

In most towing situations, your vehicle is moving forward and the trailer just follows where you lead it. Simple enough. However, backing up to park a camper or launch a boat changes the dynamics of the wheels on the trailer. Trailer wheels don't usually (correction: almost never) have a differential in the axle to compensate for directional pressures from the hitch. As a result, one tire will often stick before the other, causing the trailer to start making a sharp turn going backwards.

Hazards in this situation range from backing off a launch ramp, to backing into an object like a tree or building, and more. If you angle too hard, the hitch could actually tear off the vehicle due to a hard angle and torque pressure, which is the beginning of a really bad weekend.

So, what can you do about it?

Ensuring a good backup every time with full trailer visibility is key. That means getting all mirrors adjusted so the back corners of what you're towing are completely clear. This is so you can guide the trailer where you need it to go, not to mention so you can see what you're going to hit and, most importantly, if the trailer is turning prematurely when backing up.

Standard mirrors are usually not enough on the side of a truck or vehicle, and the rear view mirror is often obscured by the trailer contents or similar. Extension mirrors, such as a Universal Towing Mirror or a Custom Towing Mirror, are key for more visibility (or if you tow all the time and insist on the best possible solution, go for the granddaddy of great towing mirrors - Extendable Replacement Mirrors.)

With the added mirror length and adjustments to increase visibility, you can easily control what the trailer is doing during backup, avoiding costly mistakes before they occur. Comparing the cost of towing mirrors to potential damage should be a no-brainer. It just makes sense to use extension mirrors whenever you tow.

To find out what the best towing mirror option is for your given vehicle or truck, shop towing mirrors at CIPA USA online now or call customer service at (800) 872-2472.

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This post was written by Jake Nemecek